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Preview: Let’s try this one again

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Giants vs. Dodgers, take 2.

San Francisco Giants v Los Angeles Dodgers Carlos Avila Gonzalez / The San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images

The San Francisco Giants are only two games removed from their worst series of the year, in which they got swept, looked mediocre, and dropped from first to third in the division, all while at home.

Now they face the same team, on the road, for four games.

The first series was frustrating, but really didn’t tell us too much about the gap between the Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers; three games is too small of a sample size. Seven games is a touch bigger so we can extract a bit more meaning about the rivalry by Sunday night.


Series details

Who: San Francisco Giants vs. Los Angeles Dodgers
Where: Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles, California
When: Thursday (7:10 p.m.), Friday (7:10 p.m.), Saturday (4:15 p.m.), and Sunday (1:10 p.m.)
National broadcasts: Thursday (MLB Network, out of market only), Saturday (Fox), and Sunday (MLB Network, out of market only)


Where they stand

San Francisco Giants

Record: 30-19, T-2nd in the NL West
Run differential: +56, 3rd in the NL
Postseason standing: Tied for the 1st Wild Card
Momentum: 2-game winning streak, 7-3 in their last 10

Los Angeles Dodgers

Record: 30-19, T-2nd in the NL West
Run differential: +76, 2nd in the NL
Postseason standing: Tied for the 1st Wild Card
Momentum: 1-game losing streak, 8-2 in their last 10


Three Giants to watch

San Francisco Giants v Arizona Diamondbacks Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images

Kevin Gausman: 2021 represented a stark contrast from 2020 when the Giants played the Dodgers. A year ago, the Giants did everything they could to survive against LA: they used starters as relievers on their throwing days, shuffled the rotation to get their best arms in, and tried to find every advantage they could.

Not so much this year. The Giants are sticking with the plan, partially because the team is better, and partially because the season is longer. Gausman didn’t pitch in the first series against the Dodgers, but Scott Kazmir did. The Giants ace will pitch in this series though, in Sunday’s finale against Clayton Kershaw. That’s a big game.

Anthony DeSclafani: DeSclafani has been a revelation for the Giants this year, but got destroyed by the Dodgers his last time out. Through 9 games, Disco had given up just 12 earned runs in 53.1 innings. Then he gave up 10 to the Dodgers in 2.2 innings. It’s safe to say that he’ll be looking to even the score, and that the Dodgers will be excited to face him again.

Donovan Solano: Solano was rushed back from his rehab after Wilmer Flores’ injury suddenly left the Giants with none of their three-headed second base monster — Flores, Solano, and Tommy La Stella — healthy. Flores and La Stella remain sidelined, and if Donnie Barrels can regain his 2020 Silver Slugger form, well ... that would be a really good thing.


Three Dodgers to watch

Los Angeles Dodgers v Houston Astros Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

Clayton Kershaw: The Giants avoided Kershaw in last week’s series, but don’t get so lucky this time around. They do, however, get to avoid Trevor Bauer, so that’s nice. In a rotation stacked with Cy Young-caliber pitchers younger than he is, Kershaw has reclaimed his spot atop the throne of one of baseball’s best rotations. His ERA sits below 3, and his FIP is 2.70. He’s striking out more than 7 hitters for every batter he walks, and he’s allowing just 0.8 homers per 9 innings. His fWAR of 2.0 is tied for fifth among all pitchers in baseball. The person it’s tied with? Gausman, his Sunday counterpart.

Walker Buehler: When the Giants faced Buehler over the weekend they had little success, mustering just 1 run and 7 baserunners in 7 innings. But while the Giants were clearly frustrated, it wasn’t a dominant performance by the Dodgers righty — he struck out just 5, and allowed a few hard hit balls. Can he turn that success into dominance, or can the Giants figure him out in the second outing? We know the Giants love to draw walks, but Buehler has issued just 8 of them in 58.1 innings.

Gavin Lux: Lux isn’t having a great season, but you wouldn’t know it if you only watched him play the Giants. Against teams not located in San Francisco, the young left-handed hitter is 30-121 with 7 extra-base hits. Against the Giants, he’s 5-13 with 2 extra-base hits, including a grand slam. The Giants should try to be more like other teams here.


Poll

Who wins the series

This poll is closed

  • 9%
    Giants sweep
    (33 votes)
  • 15%
    Giants win 3-1
    (53 votes)
  • 46%
    Split
    (161 votes)
  • 22%
    Dodgers win 3-1
    (77 votes)
  • 6%
    Dodgers sweep
    (24 votes)
348 votes total Vote Now